Chris Crook

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The Commissioners of the FTC agreed, during an oversight hearing on November 27, 2018, to investigate the use of “loot boxes” in video games. Senator Hassan (D-NH), following up on questions she asked the newly appointed Commissioners during their confirmation hearings, specifically requested the FTC investigate loot boxes citing addiction concerns, (especially as it relates to children) and the resemblance of loot boxes in video games to gambling. A loot box is a digital…
A notable Venable alum stopped by the NAD conference last Tuesday morning to give the room an insider’s view into the Office of Attorney General in the District of Columbia. After a moving moment of silence for the victims of hurricanes, the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, and his mother who had recently had a stroke, Attorney General Racine gave the room an overview of the goings-on and priorities of his office as well…
Everyone dealing with advertising substantiation has been on the sending or receiving end of a demand letter that challenges the basis for an advertising claim. These letters usually follow the same format. The letter will identify the advertising claim at issue, explains the problem with the claim, and provides a reasoned explanation for the sender’s position. These letters also generally end with the dreaded “or else” statement (please modify the advertising claim by date certain,…
More, almost live blogging, from the NAD conference.  During the mid-morning hours yesterday, the conference group focused on strategies to get their claim substantiation right.  The panel of Kat Dunnigan (NAD); Rebecca Bliebaum (Tragon Corporation); Jay Goldring (Boots Retail USA, Inc); Spring C. Potoczak (Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.); and moderated by David Mallen (Loeb & Loeb, LLP) focused on the sufficiency of different types of claim substantiation. The panel started the conversation by discussing…
There is one phrase that sums up yesterday’s panel on puffery—puffery is f@#$*&% great.  The panel started with a bang by jumping right into a video advertisement for dollar shave club where CEO and panelist Michael Dubin informed the audience (and the world) that the blades offered by dollar shave club are not good, they are f@#$*&% great.  The panel’s energy did not stop there. The panel dove into the age old question,…
We are close to live blogging from the annual NAD Advertising Law Conference and for those who could not join us, we wanted to share highlights from its opening — keynote speaker FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.  The FTC typically uses this conference to lay out its enforcement priorities relevant to national advertisers and gives us all a peek into the crystal ball for the coming year.  So here’s what we heard.…
In today’s global marketplace, it is common to expand the marketing footprint of successful consumer products from one geographic market to multiple.  In doing so, it is tempting to leverage economies of scale regarding the substantiation for any advertising claims associated with the consumer product.  However, when moving a successful international product into the United States market, special care should be taken to ensure that the substantiation relied upon is relevant to U.S. consumers, as…
Good news for retailers who offer gift cards to their customers for use in stores.  For the second time in recent weeks, a jury found that a major retailer has not infringed patents related to prepaid gift cards.  In the case of Alexsam Inc. v. The Gap Inc., et al, Case No. 2:13-cv-00004-MHS-CMC, Alexsam, a non-practicing entity (sometimes called by the less-complimentary moniker “patent troll”), sued The Gap for violating two patents that cover systems…